What is industrial automation?
What is industrial automation? Industrial automation refers to the use of software and hardware, rather than human operators, to control industrial devices and processes. Automation is a step beyond mechanization.
Mechanization means providing human operators with the tools and equipment to help them do their jobs better. The most visible and well-known part of industrial automation is industrial robots.
What is industrial automation? Today, the application of industrial automation and instrumentation in various industries and industrial processes is abundant. Complex process control and measurement systems in industries such as water, electricity, and oil.
Used in gas, petrochemical, chemical industries, food industries, automotive industries, etc. They need very precise and sensitive tools. Recent technical advances in process control and measurement of various industrial parameters such as pressure, temperature, water flow, current, voltage, condition of switches and valves, etc. have increased the quality of products and reduced production costs.
Some of the benefits of industrial automation:
1) Reproducibility of activities and processes
2) Increasing the quality of manufactured products
3) Increase production speed (increase production quantity)
4) More accurate and faster quality control
5) Reduction of production wastes (waste)
6) Better interactions with business, administrative, financial, and human resource systems
7) Increasing the productivity of industrial units
8) Increasing the safety factor for human resources and reducing mental and physical stress
Increasing the quality and quantity of a product requires the use of advanced and automatic machines.
Machines that have most of their work process automated and rely less on human factors. Such machines require an automated control unit to function properly, usually using a programmable control system (eg PLC = Programmable Logic Control or programmable logic controller).
Data collection in industrial processes is done using sensors or sensors. These sensors act as the eyes and ears of a control system. Today, the use of sensors is common in many industrial machines, so much so that the automatic performance of a machine can be graded by the number of sensors in it.
The presence of different sensors in the automation process is so important that without the sensor no automated process is formed, so sensors are an integral part of industrial automation systems. In the not-so-distant past, many industrial machinery control panels used electromechanical relays or pneumatic systems to control production processes, and control logic was often created by combining multiple relays and connecting them together. In most industrial machines.
Delay systems and counters were also used, and with the addition of a number of timers and counters to the control panels, its volume and assembly time increased.
The above problems, considering their high depreciation and cost, as well as the lack of possibility to change the performance of the system, caused most control panels to be replaced with new programmable control systems, namely PLC, from the decades onwards.
Currently, PLC is one of the main and important components in automation projects, which is produced and offered by many companies in a wide variety. In summary, modern PLC-based automation systems and instrumentation have the following advantages over the old air conditioner and contactor controller:
1) Their installation and commissioning costs are low.
2) It takes less time to install and set up.
3) They have a small physical size.
4) They are very easy to maintain.
5) They are easily expandable.
6) have the ability to perform complex operations.
7) They have a high degree of reliability in the implementation of control processes.
8) They have a modular structure that simplifies the replacement of different parts.
9) They have standard input-output connections and signal levels.
10) Their programming language is simple and high level.
11) They are protected against noise and environmental disturbances.
12) It is easy to change the program while working.
13) It is possible to create a network between multiple PLCs easily.
14) The possibility of remote control (for example via telephone line or other communication networks) is possible.
15) It is possible to connect many standard peripherals such as printers, barcode readers, and… to PLCs.
Source: Specialized reference for industrial automation and instrumentation